One of the key issues Paul deals with in the letter of 1 Corinthians is the need for unity within the body of Christ. Christians cannot be divided if we hope to reach the world with the gospel. Our Lord prayed for unity among believers in John 17, so that the world would know that he was sent by the Father. When the church is divided, not only is it sinful, but it robs us of our effectiveness in reaching the world with the gospel of Christ.
Any endeavor that we engage in must have some sort or organization. This is just as true in the home as it is anywhere else. Though not a popular subject in our society today, the Bible has clearly identified men as leaders in the home, and enjoined upon them the great responsibility that comes with that position.
This Mother’s Day, throughout the church there will be special sermons that are designed to honor those wonderful women who wear the name “mother.” No doubt, many lessons will focus around mothers that we read about in Scripture. Many will preach lessons from the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Others may look to Hannah, or Ruth, or perhaps Lois and Eunice (Timothy’s mother and grandmother). No doubt there are other mothers who will be considered as God’s Word is proclaimed today.
Consider for just a moment one mother who is barely mentioned in Scripture, and whose role and example, because it is small, may be overlooked. Mary, the mother of John Mark, should be considered an example for her hospitality and her dedication to Christ’s church. In Acts 12, though the focus is on Peter, his imprisonment, and his subsequent release, Mary’s role cannot be ignored. While Peter was in prison, it was in the house of Mary that the church had gathered together and were praying (Acts 12:12). We might assume that they were praying for Peter’s situation (Acts 12:5).
One cannot help but consider what kind of impact this mother, and her love for God’s church, may have had on her son. It was Mark who departed from Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13), and because of him Paul and Barnabas were divided, and went their separate ways at the start of the second journey (Acts 15:36-40). Later, however, we read of Mark being considering useful in the work of ministry (2 Tim. 4:11), and to Peter, Mark was considered a son in the faith (1 Peter 5:13). Mark’s connection with Peter is well known in the history of the church, and it is often understood that much of Mark’s gospel account is based on testimony that he had received from Peter.
It is impossible to say with certainty how much influence Mary had in her son’s faithfulness. There is no doubt, however, that Mark’s mother set an example for him, to love the brethren and be available to serve God’s family in whatever capacity one is able. Thank God for Godly mothers.
“When he realized this, he went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose other name was Mark, where many were gathered together and were praying.” – Acts 12:12 ESV
Worshiping in song is such a vital part of our worship to God, but it’s about so much more than melody and pitch and whether or not one uses an instrument. Our singing is an opportunity to teach our brethren and friends, to reflect on God’s blessings, and praise His name.
If Jesus is God (and in recent lessons have concluded from evidence that He is), then He is perfectly moral, because God is perfectly moral. If Jesus is perfectly moral, then He can speak no lies. Since He cannot speak lies, anything that Jesus teaches is true. Since the New Testament is historically reliable and accurately records the deeds and teachings of Jesus, then what it says about what Jesus teaches must be true. So, examining teachings of Jesus recorded in the New Testament, we can examine what Jesus taught about the Bible, and have an understanding of whether or not the Bible is truly the Word of God.
We serve a God who is infinitely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, and infinitely loving. Our awesome God created a universe for us to live in, and he created this race that we call humanity. From that human race he has brought into the world his people, first the Jews who led to Christ, and now Christians, the citizens of Christ’s kingdom. God wants all to be in his kingdom, and he desires that all would be saved.
As you listen to this lesson, the 2018 Midterm elections may be over (or maybe you already voted), but it seems that today we live in a perpetual election cycle. Politics is on the mind of many individuals, and discussions about those in office and the policies they make is a constant on social media. But God’s Word has some things to say to us that we ought to keep in mind when we step into the voting booth, whatever election we may be participating in.